UK Judge Freezes $7.6M Of Craig Wright Assets

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Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright, Bitcoin
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The world had all eyes on the trial between Craig Wright and the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) that determined whether the Australian computer scientist was Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Now that the trial has concluded, a UK Judge granted a Worldwide Freezing Order (WFO) of $7.6 million in Wright’s assets. The decision was issued due to the high avoidance risk of the case’s payment costs.

Bitcoin’s Creator Could Be Anyone, It’s Just Not Wright

Craig Wright’s claims started in 2016 when he began to assert that he was behind the pseudonym identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. For years, these claims remained unproven and highly contested by the crypto community.

Wright faced several legal battles over his attempts to prove authorship of Bitcoin and to copyright BTC’s whitepaper.

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Earlier this month, Judge James Mellor concluded that Wright was not Bitcoin’s creator. The trial between the Australian computer scientist and COPA determined that “overwhelming evidence” was presented to debunk Wright’s claims.

The judge’s resolution concludes that “COPA had established that Dr Wright was not Satoshi Nakamoto and had not been the creator of Bitcoin.” However, the final judgment that officially states these claims as false has not yet been finished and published.

Despite this, Judge Mellor granted a £6 million ($7.6 million) WFO on Wright’s assets per COPA’s request.  According to the document, the cost of the trial totals just above £6.7 million ($8.45 million).

The application’s judgment states that, as usual, the intention was to hold a hearing “at which the remaining relief sought, including costs, would be determined” after the trial’s judgment was finalized.

However, Judge Mellor considered that issuing the WFO application’s judgment first was necessary to prevent Wright from evading court costs.

Concerns Over Payment Of The Trial’s Cost

Due to the short notice between the WFO application and the hearing, Wright’s legal team “was not able to make anything other than very short observations” on the application.

However, COPA “correctly anticipated this, correctly addressed me as if this WFO application was made without notice and so rightly acknowledged their duty to make full and frank disclosure.”

During the hearing, COPA submitted enough evidence to raise concerns over Wright’s intentions to pay the relief now that the trial concluded. Some of the Australian computer scientist moves on March 18 raised the alarms.

The Monday after the trial’s conclusion, Wright filed a form notifying Companies House that his shares in his company RCJBR Holding had been transferred to DeMorgan PTE, a company organized under the laws of Singapore.

This decision led COPA to believe Wright could be taking measures to offshore his assets and “seek to evade the costs and consequences of his loss at trial.”

Additionally, Judge Mellor considered Wright’s “history of default in relation to orders for the payment of money” and his lying track record. According to the judgment, “COPA has a very powerful claim to be awarded a very substantial sum in costs (…) I consider there is a very real risk of dissipation.”

Bitcoin is trading at $70,134 in the 3-day chart. Source: BTCUSDT on Tradingview.com 

Featured Image from Unsplash.com, Chart from TradingView.com



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